• Saved By Stories
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Saved By Stories
on: January 19, 2020, 04:06:12
Many of my early songs were folk style tales inspired by a lifelong reading habit (I`m thankful now we had no tv `til I was hooked on books).
Slowly sorting and rerecording/remixing those songs for a playlist, I felt the need for a title song; here it is.
...and before you ask; I announced a displeasure with our location and desire to leave home to my mother at age 6.Didn`t get much beyond the garden gate `til later.
The first verse is based on a news report of a pluckier young boy in Eastern Europe somewhere who did get a few miles "round the world" before being apprehended.
I`m not entirely happy with the vocal on this ( maybe something about singing a swing tune); any pointers you can offer are appreciated.

https://soundcloud.com/user-564042721/saved-by-stories 



       Saved By Stories

in his pockets a toy offroader
spare change a banana
two busses round the world with no coat
 
there he slept in a thicket
heard a voice"dinner in 5 minutes"
made for home before someone found his note

by no means discouraged
he read Huck Finn under the covers
his life would be adventures in quotes

some fall headlong into a song
lost in the light on a page
this boy was saved by stories

in his room he built a reading railroad
the tracks of his tomorrows
laid one tall tale at a time

when that train pulled in the station
he`d found his truth in fiction
birds of words took him out the window flying

some fall headlong into a song
movie heroes you played made you brave
this boy was saved by stories

he`s heard eternity can seem long
when he goes throw Treasure Island
Great Expectations into his grave
this boy was saved by stories


© Robert Cordrey April 2019


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #1 on: January 19, 2020, 08:14:14
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 10:57:07 by LePlongeur »
I am very curious about what troubles you about the voice/singing in this song.  @robertkc
It warms my heart to hear your post. It has an intense searching quality. Something that is mistaken for vulnerability. If you want to explore this (even if you donít want to do this kind of singing yourself), please check out the recordings made by Pearls before Swine, Thomas Rapp and This Mortal Coilís covers of Thomasí music.

Thomas (and Elisabeth) lived in Amsterdam for some time. He is the very kind and shy founding father of shoegaze. And look how I call my music......

Itís about the recognition of the voice as an instrument, searching for the best way to serve the song.
I am always glad if you post a song, but to me this one opens up a side of your artist-musical expression that I never heard before.

This Mortal Coil, please give this one a listen.
Kind regards, Gus


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 10:30:58
Before I even hear the song @robertkc you have connected for me.

I can clearly remember being so excited by what I was reading when I was young, I would do the old torch under the covers trick.
Then my Mum or Dad would see some stray light and I would be in trouble for not getting to sleep.

Three black and white TV channels for us growing up in the UK and in my early years I can remember times when there was no transmission at certain times of day. The 'interlude' including the famous potters wheel, the white dot and A440 test tone are all memories of a less frenzied time.

This just resonates so strongly for me.

Quote
some fall headlong into a song
lost in the light on a page
this boy was saved by stories

I think that boy you write about is me ;-)

OK I'll listen to the song now ;-)
"Love and Life is all about connections"


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #3 on: January 19, 2020, 11:00:23
I like the use of Uke but I wonder if it's too exposed on its own at the beginning. I don't think you need the first few chords just launch into the singing perhaps with "In his pocket". Just dropping you straight into the story. Like opening up a book :-)

Vocally, one thing I've noticed you sometimes have softened consonant endings to words. I imagine it's a something you don't even consciously notice. For example I'm getting ... "... round the worl with no coa ". The brain fills this in to some extent but what's happened to the D and the T. ?

I'm not being critical here, it's more an observation as I listen. It's more of a issue perhaps for a wordsmith like you with your developed storytelling, particularly if you have listeners all around the world. I can't tell you the number of takes I've done on a vocal line to get a solid T for example at the end of a word or line.

I like the style of this and the overall swing and there's some great harp playing that adds to the overall feel of the song. 

 ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN::


Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #4 on: January 19, 2020, 13:01:29
This is just a beautiful @robertkc ! Also for me it is going back in time. Everything you describe so simple but poetic tells my boyhood story. We didn't have tv either in the fifties (in fact not before some time halfway the sixties). So everything, apart from a few scarce movies, was about reading and story telling to feed your imagination. And radio plays which I secretly listened under my blanket on my self built radio kit for boys, the Philips Pionier I and later the II (with loudspeaker).

Your voice may be a bit uncertain, especialy in the beginning, but it suits the song particularly well. Very nice production instrumentally and sound wise.
If you dig it, do it. If you dig it a lot, do it twice (Jim Croce).


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #5 on: January 19, 2020, 19:36:46
@LePlongeur   I`m happy this led you to think of that marvelous shoe-gazer Tom Rapp! The Jeweller is simply one of the best portrait songs I`ve ever heard ( I like his version more than the cover).  I wrote many character /story songs years ago and then began naval gazing.. .
perhaps in line with the times ;)
I`ve never felt really confidant singing to a swing beat; probably due for a "singing swing" workshop or something.
Thank you for the interesting review.

@MrBouzouki  Those are excellent suggestions :ok: No intro & working on consonant clarity- yup, I agree. The soft word endings is an overcompensation for a habit of making those T`s/D`s too hard...and maybe not making good use of the vocal rider.
Its very encouraging to hear my song took  you back to that kid reading with a flashlight!

Thank you for listening and finding memories nudged by this @Charlie ... what kind of songwriters will come from the  Xbox generation?

Robert


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #6 on: January 19, 2020, 23:03:30
hi @robertkc

I really like the story (no pun indended) behind the song.

The itself really comes alive for me at "some fall head long" - the swing feel and the harmonica are really strong.

Before that it I hear hesitation in the singing and parts of it don't seem to fit the with where I feel the beat - I think it's what @MrBouzouki mentions - where you cut off the ends of words it stops them spanning across the music.

The line "he read Huck Finn under the covers" seems to be struggling a bit to fit in. It's almost like you're a little unsure of what melody to use. But as I say, when the songs picks up all that disappears and the singing sounds great.

This is a very good song - well done!

cheers


Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 14:29:21
I really like this song.....it is filled with feelings and images that will connect with many.

It feels like you get more comfortable with the vocals as the song progresses. At first I can hear a bit of hesitation as you navigate through the somewhat complex lyrical landscape. By the end, though.....you are in a fantastic vocal groove.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 18:58:12
Thanks for your comments @Jurgen  & @Leonard Scaper - very helpful. I hear that lack of swagger in my vocal on the verses ( chorus is easy- fewer syllables=easier to get that swing feel).
I`m a wordy guy ;I think this song needs those details to tell the tale, so this morning  I`ve been practising while out walking ( all problems can be solved on a good walk :yes:).  Will have a crack at a redo later today.

Robert


Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 00:30:32
Hola @robertkc

Your song has taken me from that kid's hand in that escape attempt!
I really liked the so nice rhythm... and the lyric is really important, beautiful...

"some fall headlong into a song
lost in the light on a page
this boy was saved by stories"

is fantastic Congratulations! ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
I love the harmonica.

Mora

Mora
I did not know that to live I had to die so many times
https://vimeo.com/onacarom


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Re: Saved By Stories
Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 21:26:58
Thanks for those comments @Mora Amaro La Loba .
There`s a more energetic version up now - vocal clarity improved and a little better swing feel on the verses.

Robert



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